Family Safety Tip: Sledding
It’s the first snow of the season so that means it’s time to dig out the sleds from the garage and head towards your favorite sledding hill! You also might want to take along bike helmets for your kids.
More than half of all sledding injuries are head injuries. Sledders are actually more likely to be injured in collisions than skiers or snowboarders.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT HILL
- Select a hill that has a long flat area at the bottom for you to glide to a stop and avoid hillsides that end near a street or parking lot.
- Avoid hillsides that end near ponds, trees, fences or other hazards.
- Make sure the hill is free of obstacles such as jumps, bumps, rocks, or trees before you begin sledding.
- Choose hills that are snowy rather than icy. If you fall off your sled, icy slopes make for hard landings.
- Try to sled during the daytime, when visibility is better. If you go sledding at night, make sure the hillside is well lit and all potential hazards are visible.
- Avoid wearing a scarf that can get caught in a sled and pose a risk of strangulation
- Get the right kind of sled…the best sleds can be steered and have brakes to slow them down. Avoid the sleds that are saucers or plastic toboggans.
DRESS FOR COLD TEMPERATURES
- Frostbite and even hypothermia are potential dangers.
- Wear sensible winter clothing that is waterproof and warm, and change into something dry if your clothes get wet.
- Avoid wearing scarves or any clothing that can get caught is a sled and pose a risk of strangulation.
- Wear a helmet.
GET THE RIGHT KIND OF SLED
- The best sleds can be steered by their riders and have brakes to slow them down.
- Avoid sleds that can’t be steered, such as saucers or plastic toboggans, and never use a sled substitute like an inner tube, lunch tray, or cardboard box.
FOLLOW THESE SIMPLE SAFETY RULES
- Designate a go-to adult. In the event someone gets injured, you’ll want an adult on hand to administer first aid and, if necessary, take the injured sledder to the emergency room.
- Always sit face-forward on your sled. Never sled down a hill backwards or while standing, and don’t go down the hill face-first, as this greatly increases the risk of a head injury.